a snippet of my unnamed sequel I am writing
Medical hadn’t changed in the time Kate was gone. It still looked just as sterile and inhospitable as ever. How people like Matthews actually enjoyed working there beat the hell out of her.
Roberts lie on a bed with his wrists tied to the rails. Stasis cuffs glowed a soft blue as Loving and Kate approached. A machine stood beside his resting place and it metered out what she assumed was painkillers given the contented look of his face.
Kate stopped beside the machine. “Feeling comfortable, asshole?”
Roberts looked up at her and sighed. At one time she would’ve been intimidated by the sergeant and the intensity he carried himself with. Now all she could do was look at him with contempt and a wonder how such an empty man could’ve been so threatening.
Of course it had to do with the position he held: drill instructor. The one, single person who could intimidate a new recruit held that position. He or she ruled over their lives like a proverbial King where anything went and their word was final law.
He looked up at her. “Of course,”
“I want to know who your contact is,” she said.
Roberts smiled and started to talk in a child’s sing-sing voice. “I’ll never tell,”
Kate smiled and it was colder then space. She reached for the machine and flipped the switch off. “If you say so.”
Roberts’ face contorted and he sucked in a deep breath. He lifted his back up and arched it as the pain increased to unbearable levels. The chords on the sergeant’s neck were plain to see and it took all of Kate’s self control to keep from laughing at his plight.
“Ready to talk now, tough guy?” she cut the painkiller back on.
She cut if off again.
“No!” he gasped.
“Have it your way,”
Roberts’ face was covered in sweat and his breath raced. “Please,” he gasped. “No more!”
Kate leaned down until their faces were an inch apart. She kept her face neutral despite the nasty smell of garlic on his breath.
“Now,” she said. “You’re going to tell me who your contact was.”
“They’ll kill me!”
“And I won’t?” Kate said. “You know my background and you know my combat record. I’ll kill you faster then spit. Now, who was your ****ing contact!”
“Turner Jones,” he said.
“Where can find Mr. Jones?”
“He runs a Pawn Shop on Jefferson,”
Jefferson. She should’ve known that planet would come into play somehow. While Selkirk was the armpit of the Alliance, Jefferson was the home of many of the most notorious organized crime families in the galaxy. Pawn Shops, often fronts for arms dealers, were a dime a dozen.
Perhaps the mafia is behind the bounty, Kate thought. Which will make finding the culprit a lot easier.
“Just where is his shop?”
“In Knightdale,” he said. “The capital.”
Kate leaned up and smiled. “See,” she said.
“How hard was that!”
“Go to hell!”
She cut off the medicine and the hurricane of pain cascaded down on Roberts again.
“That wasn’t nice,” Kate said with a smile.
“You bitch,” Roberts said through clenched teeth.
“How did you get in contact with a Pawn Shop owner on a planet two days travel from here in time to try to kill me. It doesn’t make sense. So…
“Who is your local contact?”
Kate stroked his sweaty brow in a parody of love. “Oh, does it hurt?” she cooed. “All you have to do is give me his or her name.”
“I can do this all day, sweet heart,” she whispered. “How about you?”
Sweat ran down the former drill instructor’s face. A vein throbbed on his forehead and Kate smiled even more. He couldn’t hold out much longer. The only question was when he broke.
“Ok!” he gasped. “I’ll tell you! Please cut it back on!”
“Control and manipulation,” Kate said. “You taught me that. Now, the name, please.”
“Eugene Parker,” he said.
Kate leaned down by his ear. “And where, do tell, may I find Mister Parker?”
“He runs a bar in town,” Roberts said. “Calypso.”
<April,> Kate sent. <Get me the address.>
<Already done,> the AI said. <It’s at 1421 Oakwood Drive.>
Kate stood up straight. “When all this is done, Roberts, remember I didn’t kill you.”
She turned on a heel and left with Loving in tow. Roberts had just given her the first link in a long chain. Combine that with the one from the Williams-thing and the path of the hit became clearer.
If neither of them is a trap, which is more then likely.
“So we’re heading to Calypso,” Loving said. “Do you know what you’re going to do then?”
Loving groaned. “Here we go again,”
“Yup,” Kate smiled tightly. “But you love it so much!”
“Yeah, you know I just love it so much…”
Loving said. “Come on, Kate, don’t you have an idea of what you want to do?”
“I’m going to ask Parker nicely to tell me his contact,”
“You actually think it will be that easy?”
Kate shrugged. “No, but I’ll try it that way before I have to be…less then nice.”
The smile on Kate’s face made Loving’s blood run cold.
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